At a small nursery on Lee Lane in downtown Covington, there is a larger-than-life personality. Sporting a feathery crown, Pompom the Duck waddles around Lee Lane as if she owns the place. Ronda Laddin and Philip Mollere, owners of this diva duck, treat Pompom like a daughter. With her own room, specially designed seat in the car and delicately refined palate, Pompom has become part of their family. The only thing missing is the adoption paper.
As all good family members do, Pompom helps with maintenance around the store. She keeps the nursery, The Secret Garden, running like a well-oiled machine. When she’s not entertaining customers, she’s nibbling weeds or ridding the garden of pesky insects. No need for insecticides and herbicides when an adorable duck can do the trick.
Ignoring her duck heritage, this princess of a duck loves to “bark” at passing dogs and keep watch for new customers. “If we are in the back and Pompom sees a customer, she will quack to let us know,” Ronda says. “Quack, quack, quack, bark, quack, quack!” Pompom always examines new customers from their shoes up. She follows them with a close eye and takes flight only when alarmed.
When Pompom isn’t keeping order over her domain, she loves to swim in her bright blue kiddie pool. She will welcome any youngster with open wings to share in her fun, and if they bring watermelon, they’ve stolen her heart.
Pompom is no ordinary duck. “She is a crested Indian Runner; that ball of feathers on her head is like a human having red hair,” Philip says. Pompom’s white tiara is caused by a recessive gene that displays itself only in the most special of cases.
And Pompom is indeed a very special case. “She always makes us smile,” says Ronda. “I never knew such a little duck could bring us so much joy.”
Her Majesty Norah Rice Queen of the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws
Reigning over the 16th annual Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws parade was Queen Norah Rice, a 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The theme of the parade on Mandeville’s lakefront was “Mardi Paws goes BARK IN TIME!”
Queen Norah was born at Luxxar Cavaliers in Arlington, Texas, where she was registered as Luxxar Don’t Blink. Her sire was Champion Rooftop Stickwitu of Luxxar and her dam is Luxxar Lasting Memory. Norah’s grandfather won Best in Breed at Crufts in Birmingham, England, the world’s largest dog show. Her grandmother was a multiple Best in Show Winner.
Norah has lived with her human parents, Jennifer and Tim Rice, at Innisfree Farm in Folsom since she was 8 weeks old. She resides there with two other Luxxar Cavalier sisters, Molly and Brigid.
Norah’s favorite activities are retrieving tennis balls and playing keep-away and chase with Brigid, with Molly serving as umpire. All three girls also enjoy chasing rabbits and Canada geese at the farm and watching polo matches held there. Norah loves to lay by the fireplace and watch Saints and LSU football games, as well as horseracing. Her musical favorites are folk, Irish and opera. She especially enjoys the Saturday afternoon Live from the Met radio broadcasts.
The Mardi Paws parade serves animals and underprivileged and disabled children throughout St. Tammany Parish. Proceeds benefit Have a Heart thru Art, Scott’s Wish and the St. Tammany Spay and Neuter Group.Filed under: March-April 2012, Mardi Gras, Pets and Their People